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Statement on Ofcom’s recommendations to the government on the accessibility requirements for on-demand services

20 December 2018

We welcome Ofcom’s proposed targets on subtitling on-demand content. Having 80% of all content subtitled within four years, alongside an interim target of 40% in two years, would mark a profound improvement for people living with deafness and hearing loss.

Our Subtitle It campaign launched in 2015 and since then we have actively consulted with broadcasters, the government and Ofcom to ensure that our tireless campaigners and supporters were heard. We are grateful to Ofcom for listening to their views, which have demonstrated that there is a need for a robust code on what on-demand providers should be doing.

We believe these targets are achievable and would like to call on broadcasters to collaborate with ourselves and other stakeholders to make these changes as seamless as possible. We have welcomed the steps taken so far by many on-demand providers and hope they will embrace the new recommendations outlined by Ofcom.

We will continue campaigning to ensure the government heeds these recommendations and encourage both the government and Ofcom to resist any pressure from industry to grant needless exemptions from the proposed requirements. With the industry having been on notice for more than a year, we see no reason for further delay and we are hopeful that people with deafness and hearing loss will see a marked improvement soon.

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Notes to editors

RNID is the national charity helping people living with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss to live the life they choose. RNID enables them to take control of their lives and remove the barriers in their way, giving people support and care, developing technology and treatments, and campaigning for equality.